We should always make the best use of our time. But Paul’s comment to the Ephesians is that they should do it “because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). This shows that the time for doing worthwhile things was short; the window of opportunity for working for the Lord was not going to last for very long. Paul continues, “therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is” (verse 17). This is a major reason why we should read the word of God every day – to understand His will, so that our minds are filled with His principles and this leads to wise actions, more essential than ever when “the days are evil”.

Note how Paul next writes of the good things that they – and we – can and should make part of our lives when we have time together. He says, “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your heart” (verse 19). We sing aloud, but note that last phrase “in your heart”. This shows that we must really think about and know the meaning of the words we sing – for we are singing to the Lord, not just to each other! We are singing about our convictions.

Jesus gave the very same warning, but he called those listening to him hypocrites and quoted Isaiah, “This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8).

Finally, in Ephesians 6, Paul sums up his urgent advice about the coming evil day in words so appropriate to us today, “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13). A particular evil day or time of climax is certainly coming; it is what we do now that we see whether we “stand firm” or not.